Canadian NDP Candidates Resign Over Antisemitic Social Media Posts as General Election Looms
Two parliamentary candidates from Canada’s center-left New Democratic Party (NDP) have resigned over controversies regarding antisemitism just five days before the country heads to the polls for a snap general election.
NDP spokesperson George Soule said on Wednesday morning that Sidney Coles, running in Toronto-St. Paul’s, and Dan Osborne, running in the Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester, were resigning by choice, but that the party supports their decisions, CBC News reported.
Both had agreed to learn more about the problem of antisemitism, Soule added.
Coles’ offense was to promote the fabrication that Israel was responsible for doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that allegedly went missing in the US last winter.
She later apologized for posting “unsubstantiated theories about vaccine supply linked to Israel” on Twitter, saying, “I recognize this frame is a common antisemitic trope, though that was never my intent.”
Osborne, meanwhile, sent a tweet to TV personality Oprah Winfrey asking whether the Auschwitz extermination camp was “a real place.”
Though the tweet was sent in 2019, Osborne said he had no memory of posting it in an apology he issued on Sunday.
“I want to offer an apology. The role of Auschwitz and the history of the Holocaust is one we should never forget. Antisemitism should be confronted and stopped,” he said.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh condemned the messages in a speech during a campaign stop on Wednesday morning.
“I want to be very clear: their comments were completely wrong and have no place in our party,” Singh said. “Those messages were completely unacceptable and the right decision was made.”